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November 21, 2012

US President Barack Obama visits Myanmar

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Myanmar
Other stories from Myanmar
  • 2 April 2012: Aung San Suu Kyi claims a seat in the Parliamentary elections in Myanmar
  • 30 March 2012: Report indicates continued severe weather problems still looming
  • 9 March 2012: Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton present 2012 International Women of Courage Awards
  • 19 January 2012: Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Suu Kyi to contest in by-election
  • 13 January 2012: Observing the 2012 Human Trafficking Awareness Day in the US, and wider world
…More articles here
Location of Myanmar

A map showing the location of Myanmar

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Myanmar, see the Myanmar Portal
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Obama meets with Thein Sein
Image: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.

United States President Barack Obama Monday became the first US President to visit the Asian country of Myanmar.

Locals left their jobs to watch President Obama’s motorcade drive down the streets of Yangon. In addition to speaking at the University of Yangon, he also spoke with the president of Myanmar, U Thein Sein; and opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

President Thein Sein told President Obama that their countries were in a “progressing” relationship. President Obama told Suu Kyi, an activist under the former regime who became a member of parliament in the new one, that her example “has been inspiration to people all around the world, including myself. Clearly you will be playing a key role in your country’s future for many years to come as Burma seeks the freedom and the prosperity and the dignity that not only the people of this country deserve but people all around the world deserve.”

When he spoke at the University of Yangon, Obama emphasized the former connections between the two countries. He also emphasized America’s democratic system and explained that Myanmar should follow America’s lead. “You need to reach for a future where the law is stronger than any single leader, because it’s accountable to the people”, he said.

Obama speaks at University of Yangon
Image: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.

Although many residents here are excited about the visit as proof of new democracy, others are more skeptical of such change. Thein Sein was a member of the former military government. Aung San Suu Kyi was only released two years ago from house-arrest that lasted nearly two decades under that government. There is speculation that there are still hundreds of political prisoners under the custody of the government. Violence is an issue in the Kachin State; and Associated Press reports over 110,000 refugees in Rakhine State. Major cities like Yangon seem almost ahead of themselves in capital, with a lack of hotel and office space; while the rural areas are still very primitive.

Zaw Nay Aung, an exile living in Great Britain and director of the Burma Independence Advocates research group, criticized the president’s visit on several counts. He called Thein Sein an ex-general who still leads the country despite their new government. “The ruling elites have been waiting for this moment since they came into power nearly two years ago. The U.S. approval of the country’s reform process has been one of the core political objectives that the regime has tried to secure since transitioning into power”, he said. He also criticized President Obama, calling it “a disgrace for the U.S. president to make such a historic trip to Burma while hundreds of political prisoners still remain in jails”.

Eyes are also on China, which neighbors Myanmar. The two countries had similar policies and were friends. Now, with the President’s visit; the US could be appearing to be “courting” Myanmar. This will especially be an issue in 2015, when Myanmar will be having an election.

The visit was overshadowed by conflict between Israel and Palestine in the Middle East. Myanmar is the second country the president visited in a three-country, four-day tour of the Middle East. Prior to his trip to Myanmar; the president and secretary of state were in Thailand, and afterwards they went to Cambodia, where human rights are expected to be a major issue.


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President Obama visits Myanmar

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Jump to: navigation, search

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Myanmar
Other stories from Myanmar
  • 2 April 2012: Aung San Suu Kyi claims a seat in the Parliamentary elections in Myanmar
  • 30 March 2012: Report indicates continued severe weather problems still looming
  • 9 March 2012: Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton present 2012 International Women of Courage Awards
  • 19 January 2012: Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Suu Kyi to contest in by-election
  • 13 January 2012: Observing the 2012 Human Trafficking Awareness Day in the US, and wider world
…More articles here
Location of Myanmar

A map showing the location of Myanmar

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Myanmar, see the Myanmar Portal
Flag of Myanmar.svg

Obama meets with Thein Sein
Image: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.

United States President Barack Obama Monday became the first US President to visit the Asian country of Myanmar.

Locals left their jobs to watch President Obama’s motorcade drive down the streets of Yangon. In addition to speaking at the University of Yangon, he also spoke with the president of Myanmar, U Thein Sein; and opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

President Thein Sein told President Obama that their countries were in a “progressing” relationship. President Obama told Suu Kyi, an activist under the former regime who became a member of parliament in the new one, that her example “has been inspiration to people all around the world, including myself. Clearly you will be playing a key role in your country’s future for many years to come as Burma seeks the freedom and the prosperity and the dignity that not only the people of this country deserve but people all around the world deserve.”

When he spoke at the University of Yangon, Obama emphasized the former connections between the two countries. He also emphasized America’s democratic system and explained that Myanmar should follow America’s lead. “You need to reach for a future where the law is stronger than any single leader, because it’s accountable to the people”, he said.

Obama speaks at University of Yangon
Image: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.

Although many residents here are excited about the visit as proof of new democracy, others are more skeptical of such change. Thein Sein was a member of the former military government. Aung San Suu Kyi was only released two years ago from house-arrest that lasted nearly two decades under that government. There is speculation that there are still hundreds of political prisoners under the custody of the government. Violence is an issue in the Kachin State; and Associated Press reports over 110,000 refugees in Rakhine State. Major cities like Yangon seem almost ahead of themselves in capital, with a lack of hotel and office space; while the rural areas are still very primitive.

Zaw Nay Aung, an exile living in Great Britain and director of the Burma Independence Advocates research group, criticized the president’s visit on several counts. He called Thein Sein an ex-general who still leads the country despite their new government. “The ruling elites have been waiting for this moment since they came into power nearly two years ago. The U.S. approval of the country’s reform process has been one of the core political objectives that the regime has tried to secure since transitioning into power”, he said. He also criticized President Obama, calling it “a disgrace for the U.S. president to make such a historic trip to Burma while hundreds of political prisoners still remain in jails”.

Eyes are also on China, which neighbors Myanmar. The two countries had similar policies and were friends. Now, with the President’s visit; the US could be appearing to be “courting” Myanmar. This will especially be an issue in 2015, when Myanmar will be having an election.

The visit was overshadowed by conflict between Israel and Palestine in the Middle East. Myanmar is the second country the president visited in a three-country, four-day tour of the Middle East. Prior to his trip to Myanmar; the president and secretary of state were in Thailand, and afterwards they went to Cambodia, where human rights are expected to be a major issue.


Sources

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January 19, 2012

Myanmar\’s pro-democracy leader Suu Kyi to contest in by-election

Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Suu Kyi to contest in by-election

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Myanmar
Other stories from Myanmar
  • 18 May 2015: Over 900 asylum seekers rescued off Indonesian coast
  • 2 April 2012: Aung San Suu Kyi claims a seat in the Parliamentary elections in Myanmar
  • 30 March 2012: Report indicates continued severe weather problems still looming
  • 9 March 2012: Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton present 2012 International Women of Courage Awards
  • 19 January 2012: Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Suu Kyi to contest in by-election
…More articles here
Location of Myanmar

A map showing the location of Myanmar

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Myanmar, see the Myanmar Portal
Flag of Myanmar.svg

Suu Kyi in 2011.
Image: World Economic Forum.

Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar registered yesterday as a candidate in the parliamentary by-election. She is contesting, for her party the National League for Democracy (NLD), for Kawhmu, among the 48 seats in the election scheduled in April.

Suu Kyi is to contest in elections for the first time. Her party won the 1990 election, but she was under house arrest. The military junta did not accept NLD’s majority in that election. She was released in November 2010. The NLD objected to electoral laws and boycotted 2010 elections.

Kawhmu is a rural township in south-west Myanmar which was hit by cyclone Nargis in 2008.

Suu Kyi’s party would not have much power even if it won all the 48 available seats in the election. Nevertheless, her participation could be a test for democratic reforms in Myanmar.



Related News

  • “Myanmar dissident Suu Kyi to run for parliament in by-elections” — Wikinews, November 21, 2011

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November 21, 2011

Myanmar dissident Suu Kyi to run for parliament in by-elections

Myanmar dissident Suu Kyi to run for parliament in by-elections

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Monday, November 21, 2011

Myanmar
Other stories from Myanmar
  • 18 May 2015: Over 900 asylum seekers rescued off Indonesian coast
  • 2 April 2012: Aung San Suu Kyi claims a seat in the Parliamentary elections in Myanmar
  • 30 March 2012: Report indicates continued severe weather problems still looming
  • 9 March 2012: Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton present 2012 International Women of Courage Awards
  • 19 January 2012: Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Suu Kyi to contest in by-election
…More articles here
Location of Myanmar

A map showing the location of Myanmar

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Myanmar, see the Myanmar Portal
Flag of Myanmar.svg

Suu Kyi
Image: World Economic Forum.

Myanmar political dissident Aung San Suu Kyi will run for a seat in parliament in upcoming by-elections, National League for Democracy (NLD) senior official Nyan Win announced today. The NLD decided Friday to participate in the by-elections, but Suu Kyi did not say directly then that she would run.

The by-elections include 48 seats in Parliament, all of which the NLD intends to contest. Dates for the elections have not yet been set.

Suu Kyi was released from house arrest last year. She had stated she would only accept an unconditional release, not a release on conditions. On Friday, in advocating participation in the upcoming by-elections, she remarked, “Some people are worried that taking part could harm my dignity. Frankly, if you do politics, you should not be thinking about your dignity.”

The military junta of Myanmar held elections last November, which NLD boycotted since many dissidents — including Suu Kyi — were not allowed to run. The junta responded by legally revoking the NLD’s status as a political party. The NLD voted Friday to re-register as a party.

Last year’s election was the first since 1990, when the NLD won a landslide that the military junta refused to acknowledge. A year later, Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Various parties have acknowledged recent signs of political reform in Myanmar, such as the relaxing of the law that had prevented Suu Kyi and many other political dissidents from participating in elections last year. Suu Kyi in a speech last Monday was cautiously positive about recent developments. US President Obama announced Friday that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Myanmar in December, an unprecedented move since the military coup in Myanmar in 1962. The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) at its recent summit decided to allow Myanmar to hold ASEAN’s rotating chair in 2014.



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November 13, 2010

Aung San Suu Kyi release orders \’signed\’

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

(Image missing from commons: image; log)

Reports say that Burmese military generals have signed the release papers of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi; her release has not been officially confirmed. Rumours spread that Suu Kyi would be freed yesterday, but she is now expected to be freed today when her arrest period expires.

Security has been increased, though it is unclear whether it is in anticipation of Suu Kyi’s release. Benjamin Zawacki, Amnesty International’s Myanmar specialist, says that the release will only take place if the national ruler Senior General Than Shwe believes it’s in his advantage. “I don’t anticipate they will release her without conditions,” Zawacki added.

Suu Kyi’s lawyer had earlier said that she would only accept an unconditional release. He added that there was no law to continue the arrest after Saturday. She has been held under house arrest numerous times in the last 20 years. In 1991, a year after her National League for Democracy won the Burmese general election, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. But her win in those elections were nullified by the military junta.



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August 13, 2009

Wikinews Shorts: August 13, 2009

Wikinews Shorts: August 13, 2009 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: August 13, 2009

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A compilation of brief news reports for Thursday, August 13, 2009.

Paris suffers second night of violence

The French capital Paris has seen a second night of violence by demonstrators, who have blamed police for the death of a motorcyclist on Sunday.

On Sunday night youths in the eastern suburb of Bagnolet, set 29 vehicles alight and threw stones and petrol bombs at police. Monday night was “relatively calm” according to Samira Amrouche, spokeswoman for the regional administration, the authorities having depolyed 40 vans of riot police only 8 vehicles were burnt.

The motorcyclist, a pizza deliveryman, was killed when he fled police attempting to examine his documents, dying when he was struck by a pursuing police vehicle according to the youths,however in the police version his death was a result of him crashing into barriers.

The current violence has echoes of the unrest in 2005, with again dissaffected youths of Arab and black descent venting their anger and frustration.

Sources

No concrete progress but North American leaders express solidarity

The leaders of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) met in Guadalajara, Mexico on Sunday and Monday. The leaders of the three countries (Barack Obama of the United States, Felipe Calderón of Mexico, and Stephen Harper of Canada) promised to work together on swine flu, organised crime and green issues.

Despite disputes in a number of areas remaining unresolved, the three leaders succeeded in presenting an amiable Three Amigos image. The three leaders expressed solidarity, and an understanding of each others position.

The unresolved issues include the buy American clauses in the US stimulus package, tit for tat reprisals by the Mexican authorities over Canadian visa restrictions on Mexican travellers, and the US ban on Mexican trucks from crossing the border.

Risking the ire of human rights activists back home President Obama expressed support for President Calderón’s war against drugs saying he had “great confidence” in the Mexican authorities.

Sources

Mexican federal police foil plot to assassinate President Calderón

Mexican Federal Police (Policía Federal) have foiled an alleged plot to assasinate the President of Mexico Felipe Calderón. Acting on intelligence gathered over a year the Federal Police arrested five drug cartel members on Sunday and publicly paraded their captives and a number of weapons ,including automatic rifles, on Monday. Speaking during a summit of North American leaders Calderón played down the threats on his life, saying that the cartels are being destroyed by his policies.

Some 11000 have died since President Calderón’s took office in 2006 and made the war on drugs a cornerstone of his administration.

Sources

Aung San Suu Kyi sentenced to another three years of house arrest

Aung San Suu Kyi has been sentenced by a court in Burma to a further three years of house arrest for violating the terms of her previous sentence. However her sentence was immediately commuted to 18 months on the orders of Burmese head of state Senior-General Than Shwe out of respect for her father General Aung San and out of a desire for “national reconciliation”.

The period of her arrest will prevent Aung San Suu Kyi from participating in the general elections scheduled for 2010. The sentence was immediately condemned by Western leaders, and breaking from their usual silence, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) through its current chair Thailand issued a statement expressing disappointment. The ASEAN statement and talk of further European Union and United States sanctions are unlikely to have any impact on Southeast Asian country given the support of India and China.

The Chinese issued a statement calling for the world to respect Burmese sovereignty and laws, and is seen as an indication that China, a veto power will not support any United Nations actions.

John Yettaw whose unauthorised visit led to Aung San Suu Kyi’s prosecution has himself been sentenced to seven years imprisonment, four of which will be for hard labour.

Sources

Four Rio Tinto employees formally arrested for bribery

Four employees of the Rio Tinto Group have been formally arrested in China on charges of bribery and using improper practises in its negotiations with Chinese companies. The Chinese accuse the men of improperly learning the negotiating position of Chinese companies wishing to buy iron ore, and through this charging 700 billion yuan (US$102.46 billion) more then they would otherwise have been able to

The four were initially held on espionage charges and have been held since early July. The formal charges allows the Chinese authorities to hold the four a further seven months as it prepares its case against them. Their arrests followed the collapse of an attempted by Chinese owned Chinalco to raise its stake in the Anglo-Australian Rio Tinto Group to 18%.

Sources

Michael Jackson to be the star one last time

Michael Jackson will be the star of a film to be released on October 28, some four months after his death. The film will be primarily cut from footage of Jackson rehearsing for the series of concerts that would have taken place at the O2 in London, but will also feature interviews with Jackson’s family and friends.

The film becomes possible after AEG Live, the promoter of the O2 concerts, reached an US$60 million agreement with Columbia Pictures for over 100 hours of footage of Jackson preparing for his swan song.

“He was the architect of ‘This is it’, and we were his builders…” said Kenny Ortega, Jackson’s collaborator on the project “…it was clear that he was on his way to another theatrical triumph.”

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October 25, 2007

Aung San Suu Kyi leaves house arrest to meet with government official

Aung San Suu Kyi leaves house arrest to meet with government official

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Correction — January 2, 2008
 
Aung San Suu Kyi received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, not 1992.
 

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Myanmar
Other stories from Myanmar
  • 18 May 2015: Over 900 asylum seekers rescued off Indonesian coast
  • 2 April 2012: Aung San Suu Kyi claims a seat in the Parliamentary elections in Myanmar
  • 30 March 2012: Report indicates continued severe weather problems still looming
  • 9 March 2012: Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton present 2012 International Women of Courage Awards
  • 19 January 2012: Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Suu Kyi to contest in by-election
…More articles here
Location of Myanmar

A map showing the location of Myanmar

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Myanmar, see the Myanmar Portal
Flag of Myanmar.svg
File:Burma 3 150.jpg
Aung San Suu Kyi at the NGO Forum on Women, Beijing, China (1995).

Myanmar opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi has left her house arrest to meet with government officials.

Witnesses have observed a caravan of vehicles leaving the home of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize recipient. Reports say that she is meeting with a liaison minister, U Aung Kyi, who was recently appointed by Senior General Than Shwe, the leader of Myanmar’s military junta.

The appointment of a liaison minister came after Special Envoy of the United Nations, Ibrahim Gambari, arrived in Myanmar on an urgent mission to press for mediation and reconciliation.

Yesterday, protests around the world yesterday marked the 12 years that Aung San Suu Kyi has spent in detention or house arrest. She was first arrested in 1989.



Related news

  • “Burma’s military rulers arrest leaders of pro-democracy protests” — Wikinews, October 14, 2007
  • “Supporters of Myanmar’s Suu Kyi mark detained leader’s 62nd birthday” — Wikinews, June 19, 2007
  • “Myanmar prayer rally calls for release of democracy leader Suu Kyi” — Wikinews, May 27, 2007

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September 26, 2007

Myanmar protesters beaten by police

Myanmar protesters beaten by police – Wikinews, the free news source

Myanmar protesters beaten by police

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Monks protest in Myanmar, September 24, 2007.
Image: racoles.

Myanmar police have beaten up to 700 protesters with batons, according to witnesses. The crowd was gathered near a pagoda in Rangoon, and included students and Buddhist monks. AFP reported that only monks were allowed to enter the pagoda, and Reuters has quoted witnesses as saying that tear gas was used to disperse the monks.

Some monks were taken away by police in trucks. This is the first time that Myanmar security forces have used violence against the protests, which are now in their ninth day.

Location of Myanmar

Myanmar authorities have imposed a curfew from dusk until dawn, and have also banned public gatherings of more than five people. Troops and riot police have begun taking positions near monasteries, opposition party headquarters, and the house of pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi.

Comedian Zaganar was arrested at his home overnight. He has previously spoken publicly in support of the protests.

The Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, announced earlier today that the Australian government is following events in Myanmar closely, and urged the Myanmar government to show restraint. He also called for the respect of “the legitimate right of Myanmar citizens to peaceful protest.”



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Australian government declares support for Burmese protests

Australian government declares support for Burmese protests

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Myanmar protesters on September 24, 2007
Image: racoles.

The Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, has announced that the Australian government is following events in Myanmar (formerly Burma) closely, and urged the Myanmar government to show restraint. He also called for the respect of “the legitimate right of Burmese citizens to peaceful protest.”

The Minister also called for the release of political prisoners. “The continued detention of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and over one thousand political prisoners is unacceptable. I repeat calls for the Burmese regime to release Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners immediately and unconditionally,” he said in a media release.

Greens Senator Bob Brown criticised the Australian government, accusing them of hypocrisy over the issue of Myanmar. “Alexander Downer’s fear that the military will subject the pro-democracy protest leaders to ‘very harsh treatment’ is in absurd contrast with the Howard government’s twin policies of training the Burmese military and keeping open unrestricted trade,” he said in a media release.



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July 3, 2007

Detained AIDS activist Phyu Phyu Thin released in Myanmar

Detained AIDS activist Phyu Phyu Thin released in Myanmar

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Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Myanmar
Other stories from Myanmar
  • 18 May 2015: Over 900 asylum seekers rescued off Indonesian coast
  • 2 April 2012: Aung San Suu Kyi claims a seat in the Parliamentary elections in Myanmar
  • 30 March 2012: Report indicates continued severe weather problems still looming
  • 9 March 2012: Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton present 2012 International Women of Courage Awards
  • 19 January 2012: Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Suu Kyi to contest in by-election
…More articles here
Location of Myanmar

A map showing the location of Myanmar

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Myanmar, see the Myanmar Portal
Flag of Myanmar.svg

Phyu Phyu Thin
Image: Voice of America.

HIV/AIDS activist Phyu Phyu Thin has been released from police custody in Myanmar, after being detained more than a month ago.

“I am fine and I will meet my patients tomorrow,” Phyu Phyu Thin was quoted as saying in an Associated Press (AP) report today.

A supporter of the National League for Democracy (NLD), Phyu Phyu Thin heads the NLD’s volunteer HIV/AIDS relief effort, in which she visits patients’ boarding houses and homes and helps them obtain free treatment from international organizations, such as Médecins Sans Frontières.

She has been an outspoken critic of the Burmese military government’s handling of HIV/AIDS, saying not enough is being done.

Phyu Phyu Thin was taken from her home by police on May 21, after she had participated in a march calling for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, the detained leader of the NLD.

She was never charged with a crime, she said. She was released at around 9 p.m. local time last night (0230 GMT) from a detention center in Yangon.

While in detention, Phyu Phyu Thin engaged in a hunger strike, taking only liquids for about a week, which left her very weak.

“I staged the hunger strike demanding to know why we were arrested without charges. I demanded to know on what grounds we were detained and if we were accused of breaking any law,” Phyu Phyu Thin told the AP.

The United States Department of State had issued a statement last week, calling on the Myanmar junta to release Phyu Phyu Thin.

While Phyu Phyu Thin was being held, 11 HIV/AIDS patients were detained last month for a few days at a hospital after they had held demonstrations, calling for her release.

“Efforts and pressure by all parties including the international community are always very important for those who have been arrested,” Phyu Phyu Thin told the AP.

Phyu Phyu Thin’s release follows the release of 51 NLD supporters who also were detained last month in a government crackdown on the NLD’s prayer vigils for Suu Kyi.

Phyu Phyu Thin, 36, had previously been detained in 2000, after she and other supporters were bundled away by special police from a rally for Suu Kyi. She and the others were held in Insein prison.

Speaking of the HIV/AIDS situation in the country, Phyu Phyu Thin said in an interview with The Irawaddy before she was detained: “The situation is worse now than ever before”. “I get 40 to 50 new cases a month of people urgently in need of treatment and there’s nowhere for them to go … there’s too much emphasis on education and not enough on treatment; treatment should come first,” she said.

Related news

  • International Red Cross condemns Myanmar regime” — Wikinews, June 29, 2007
  • “Supporters of Myanmar’s Suu Kyi mark detained leader’s 62nd birthday” — Wikinews, June 19, 2007
  • “Eleven HIV/AIDS patient-protestors detained in Myanmar” — Wikinews, June 8, 2007

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  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Phyu Phyu Thin

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